US film actor and director. Regarded as one of the finest character actors in cinema, he has had Academy Award nominations for The Godfather (1971), Apocalypse Now (1979), The Great Santini (1981), The Apostle (1997), which he also wrote and directed, and A Civil Action (1998); he won the award for Tender Mercies (1983). Other awards include the National Medal of Arts in 2005 and a Primetime Emmy for the television miniseries Broken Trail (2006).
He began as a stage actor and made his film debut as Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). Other films The Godfather, Part II (1974), The Natural (1984), Falling Down (1993), The Paper (1994), John Q (2002), and Assassination Tango (2003), which he also wrote and directed.
He was born in San Diego, California, and grew up in Annapolis, Maryland.